Its not something that would be used daily, but I would bet we would use it weekly. There are several other applications we could use a laser engraver on, and currently do sub the work out.
I was just wanting to undertake the project on my own so I could also have a new toy, and I personally don't have $5k to spend so I was looking to make sure there aren't any other options.
So... how would this sound. Build this laser using a 60w tube: Buildlog.net 2.x Laser at Buildlog.Net Blog
Cermark to do the tool engraving (the only steel I can think we would ever do), and then the rest will be either brass, aluminum, or plastic and 60W would be plenty.